Benzyl Alcohol

Benzyl alcohol is an organic alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits (such as peaches, apricots and cranberries) as well as tea. Recent studies have found that topically applied benzyl alcohol can aid wound healing by promoting collagen production, but this is not its primary function in cosmetic products. Its main function in cosmetics is as a preservative, and it is among the least sensitizing preservatives in use. Benzyl alcohol works well as a preservative because it has both antibacterial and antifungal properties.
High amounts of benzyl alcohol can give products a noticeable flower-like scent, as it is part of the fragrance composition of some essential oils such as jasmine.
As a volatile alcohol, it can pose a sensitivity risk when used in large amounts, but is considered safe when used in cosmetics (usually in concentrations up to 5%, and it can be used up to 10% in hair dyes).